Mixing Up a Living Microbial Treatment For Your Garden

Posted on Aug 9 2011 - 2:11am by Mike Lieberman

I’ve mentioned before that when you are gardening in containers that you’ll need to amend your soil and keep your plants well fed. As the water drains out of the containers, so do the nutrients that it needs.

One other thing that your garden will benefit from is a living microbial treatment. The treatment that I am using is from one of my sponsors Thrive and their Vegetable Thrive. This is my first time using the product.

The microbial treatment will help to “restore the biological activity and improves the rooting of your plants in the soil.” The best analogy for it would be a probiotic for your plant.

You will need the following:

  • Container large enough to hold a gallon of water
  • Gallon of water
  • Capful of your microbial treatment (in my case Thrive)

To mix up the treatment:

  • Pour the water and Thrive into the container
  • Mix it up and use immediately

This is different from the manure tea, that needed to steep and sit for a few days before use. You can also apply it in the same manner to your containers/garden by pouring on top of the soil or into your reservoir container. I did a little of each. Will keep you updated on the results.

If you want to try Thrive in your garden, they are giving away free samples.

What living microbial treatments have you used or heard of before?

19 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Catwolley August 9, 2011 at 9:54 am -

    Hmmm, would worm pee from my worm farm come under this heading?

  2. Mike Lieberman August 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm -

    That’s a good question. Would it?

  3. Anonymous August 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm -

    I’ve been using Fox Farm Organic Fertilizer with mycoorhizae.  It definitely makes for a more vigorous garden!

  4. Mary C. August 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm -

    oh, thanks for the sample link! Got one for me n’ John.

    The closest other thing to a microbial treatment I know is to aerate a bucket of water for a few hours (dissipate the chlorine) and then add worm castings to it and continue to aerate overnight. Supposed to be good bacteria in it.

  5. Mike Lieberman August 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm -

    Nice. Looking forward to a more vigorous garden.

  6. Mike Lieberman August 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm -

    I’ve heard that before. Get good results?

  7. Mary C. August 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm -

    Haven’t been able to try it, need an aquarium air pump and I’ve been too cheap 😉

  8. Mary C. August 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm -

    Haven’t been able to try it, need an aquarium air pump and I’ve been too cheap 😉

  9. Mike Lieberman August 10, 2011 at 2:46 am -

    Nothing on Craigslist?

  10. Mary C. August 10, 2011 at 4:36 am -

    Didn’t think of that :9 actually think I’m gonna get one at the Hydroponic store I visited today after the next payday 🙂

  11. Mike Lieberman August 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm -

    Might be worth checking out in the interim. I’ve been checking there for fish tank set-ups.

  12. Eattheyard August 15, 2011 at 3:55 am -

    Is this product organic?

  13. Mike Lieberman August 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm -

    I don’t believe that it is certified organic by the USDA certification process, but it does not contain harsh chemicals.

  14. Anonymous August 16, 2011 at 5:28 am -

    Love it! 
    Bokashi compost, using homemade starter made from local indigenous microorganisms is another great (and dirt cheap) way to make good use of beneficial beasties! 100% Organic!


  15. Mike Lieberman August 16, 2011 at 2:15 pm -

    Good call on that.

  16. Koduel September 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm -

    there really seems to be a lot of fertilizers out on the market for gardening but I’ve found that using worm composting works really well. Worm composting is great though because the food you put into your worm bin turn into nutrients your plants can use. Food scraps and plants coming from your garden get recycled.

    Using trays for your worm composting bin and running water through the worm castings produces a worm tea that I’ve been using. And my plants are loving it. I’m sure you’re tracking all of this though. I’ll be sure to look into the product though

  17. Mike Lieberman September 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm -

    Thanks for that tip. Unfortunately don’t have a worm bin right now, but will keep in mind for the future.

  18. Collin Applegate September 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm -

    Yea I bought a worm bin from a mother earth news fair… I saw the video you had with worms  and your home made bin and it didn’t seem like you had much luck. did you ever find success with that? thanks for all the tips with you’re gardening, I’m going to make my first self watering containers and grow some spelt. Never grown spelt and gardening is really new to me, but I love it!!

    Keep doing what you’re doing man, it’s really inspirational and a great help
    ~From Koduel (just set this up)

  19. Mike Lieberman September 29, 2011 at 1:20 am -

    I never had success with my homemade worm bin. 

    Keep me updated on your progress.

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